The frontline workers across the country, regardless of the professions, have been battling all together on what has become the war field against Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the micro menace has been threatening the global countries by affecting millions and claiming more than a lakh lives. The unprecedented outbreak has triggered major devastations across the globe leaving the countries to rely on self-isolation, impose severe restrictions on the movement of the people and importantly, global nations, including India, kept and have been keeping its hope on these frontline workers to wage a counterattack against the virus.
These frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, health-care workers, and medical teams have been largely been credited as heroes as they levied themselves with the burden and working on a war foot. On March 22nd, when India has gone through one day Janata curfew, thousands across the nation had clapped and complimented the frontline workers as a token of gratitude for their services and to stand in solidarity with others. What if the workers passed away due to the pandemic and will they be treated in the same way as to how they treated before? Shockingly, it won't be the case and the recent incident that happened in Chennai holds testament on how the frontline workers might be treated after their demise.
A 60-year-old Ortho surgeon, who is the native of Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, had contracted for the virus after tested positive. He was admitted to one of the popular private hospitals in Chennai on April 4th after his health got deteriorated. He was receiving treatment for over a week and on Monday (April 13th) he was declared dead at the hospital.
Our sources say that the hospital has informed the relatives of the deceased in his home town following which they have asked to cremate the body in Chennai. The Tamil Nadu government has issued the advisories and guidelines to the private hospitals about handling the body of the deceased who died due to the pandemic. However, the private hospital had been accused of defying the guidelines. The sources said that the hospital staff had taken the body to the crematorium in Ambattur, Chennai without giving prior information. The crematorium staff had refused to cremate and fled from the spot as they had no protective equipment to put on while cremating the body.
Following the denial, the hospital staff had taken the body to Thiruverkadu crematorium. However, they got the same answer in return after which they again reversed back to Ambattur. The residents of Ambattur had gathered and protested against the cremation in the region following which the hospital staff reportedly dropped the body in the spot and moved from the place. The residents in the area voiced their fear that the pandemic could spread in their locality if the doctor's body cremated there. The local police department had reached the spot and held talks with the people. After spurring up the stir, the private hospital had taken the body and stored it in its mortuary.
When reporters asked Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh about the incident, she said that there are proper guidelines and his family has been quarantined. By maintaining that the issue had erupted due to the lack of communication and lack of understanding among the public, she asserted that the appropriate actions would be taken to control such incidents. Our sources stated that the deceased doctor's body had cremated on April 14th at the electric crematorium in Porur, Chennai.
The incident has strongly alarmed how the frontline workers including doctors have been treated after their demise and how Chennai, which is the capital and advanced city in Tamil Nadu, has been dealing with the frontline workers. Frontline workers, who are battling the virus by risking their lives, have been celebrated and credited as heroes while in service. Aren't they remain same after the demise?